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05.08.2008 00:01

The squad join the fight against malaria

Davis Saura (special correspondent)

Manager Pep Guardiola and the players Thierry Henry and Carles Puyol have joined together in the campaign “More than a club: kick it to malaria”, which the club has announced coinciding with the game in New York.

It wasn’t your typical press conference prior to a friendly game. In this case, in the press conference held in the Hotel St. Regis, the football was secondary. The campaign, which FC Barcelona, through its Foundation, Malaria No More and the association AYSO have set up this Monday took precedence. Jose Miguel Terés, in charge of international communication at FC Barcelona, was chosen to announce the principle actions of this initiative.

Guardiola: “The magnitude of the club”

Afterwards, the manager Pep Guardiola was the first in praising this decision: “Acts like this show the magnitude of the club. Now we are taking another step forward and helping the fight against malaria, a dreadful problem. We will do everything we can to spread this extraordinary message.”

Puyol and the statistics

rpnewyork_x1x.jpgThe captain Carles Puyol also expressed himself in a similar way and reminded us that every 30 seconds a child dies in Africa from malaria. “When they explain details like this you realise how bad it really is”, he commented graphically. "We can all help together,” he ended.

Henry, committed

rpnewyork_x3x.jpgAnother player who took part in the press conference was Thierry Henry, a player who is very involved in several social causes. The French striker admitted, “It is very sad to hear what is happening with this illness. It is very important to know how to explain why it is happening”. Continuing with the details previously exposed by Carles Puyol, the Barça no. ‘14’ wanted to show graphically just how far this drama goes: “If you add up all the details explained by Carles, it comes to a million people very quickly…”

To finish off the manager and players posed for photos with several youngsters from the association AYSO, wearing the Barça shirt, which, in these two games in the U.S.A., will sport the logo ‘Malaria No More’ on the left sleeve of the shirt.
The squad join the fight against malaria
Messi and the Olympics
Football also stole some of the limelight in this shared presentation. One of the subjects covered were the words of Joseph Blatter, president of the F.I.F.A., who has requested that if the Sports Tribunal agrees with Barça, that the club doesn’t demand the return of the player until the games end. “Every organisation defends its interests and we all know the strength Argentina has in F.I.F.A.”, commented Pep Guardiola, who added, “We’ll wait for the result of the Tribunal and we’ll see what attitude the club takes. Anyway the player has to have his say, and he has to be happy with the decision taken.”

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